Interview Answers: "Why Do You Want to Work Here?"
Why do you want the job you're interviewing for? What do you have to offer the company? Interviewers almost always ask why you want to work at their company. "Why do you want to work here?" is one of the most frequently asked interview questions. Saying that the job sounds great or the company is wonderful isn't enough.
What the Interviewer Really Wants to Know
The interviewer wants a real, substantive answer to the question of why you want to work at their company. Though it seems like an easy interview question to answer, many interviewers will ask, "Why do you want to work here?" or "Why would you like to work at our company?" in order to gauge your level of interest and to see if you have bothered to research the company in order to learn about it.
When interviewing prospective employees, interviewers are eager to determine which candidates really want the job and will invest genuine effort in bettering the company, as opposed to who just wants a job, any job, regardless of what the position entails.
How to Answer “Why Do You Want to Work Here?”
The best way to answer this question is to be prepared and knowledgeable about the company. Your answer will show that you will fit in well with the company culture and mission, and that the job itself is relevant to your skills and interests.
Spend some time researching the company. The "About Us” section of the employer's website is a good place to start.
You can read about the goals of the company on its website and see if the goals of the company are compatible with your personal goals. If you research the company, you can talk about the mutual benefits of employment with this company and better answer this question when the interviewer asks.
Examples of the Best Answers
You should be able to answer the interviewer in a way that makes your interviewer feel as if you know enough about the company to know that you would like to work there, given your own personal career goals. Answer the interviewer directly and confidently since how you answer is just as important as what you say.
Below are some examples of answers that may help you frame what you’re going to say.
This company is internationally known for its healthcare products and my experience in the marketing of healthcare products has me intrigued by the opportunity this position presents.
Why It Works: This answer shows the interviewer that you have researched what the company does and what it is renowned for. It also shows the interviewer that your career goals and skill set are a good fit for the company.
Your business is known for making a commitment to bettering the community. I would love the opportunity to use my 10 years of experience in advertising to better this community along with you.
Why It Works: Interviewers want to know that a job candidate is genuinely interested in enhancing the community. This answer indicates that you would use your job skills in this way as well as for improving the company’s bottom line.
Not only are you a leader in the industry, with strong financials and a great business model, but I've also seen on your Facebook page and Twitter account that users of your product are hugely enthusiastic. In fact, I'm a product user myself and am eager to be a part of the product's development and distribution.
Why It Works: You’ve gone above and beyond in researching this company. Not only have you looked at their annual report since you have looked at their business model and financials, but you have also followed them on social media. You’ve even used their product. You’re interested in helping them develop that product. The interviewer would look very favorably on this answer.
Your company's reputation is stellar. Former colleagues of mine work here, and I've seen how much they value the company's willingness to let employees pitch big ideas and have an active leadership role in new initiatives.
Why It Works: The interviewer will be pleased that you have talked with others who work at the company in order to determine if you will fit in with the company culture.
I know that your company is currently working to expand its international market. Having worked in global sales for the past five years, I am sure that I can help this company achieve its goals.
Why It Works: You have researched the company’s future plans and determined your job skills fit with their goals for the future.
Tips for Giving the Best Answer
Research the Company. You can’t research the company enough for this interview question. Look at their website, order their annual report, and follow them on social media. Gather as much information as you can. Be as knowledgeable and prepared about the company as possible.
Tie Your Job Skills to the Company. Based on your company research, tie your own job skills to the company and how you can help them in the position for which you are applying.
Be straight forward. Even though you want to tie your job skills to the company culture and mission, don’t exaggerate.
Be brief. Be brief when commenting on what the company does. You don’t want to make an error in your interview.
Practice and Prepare. Prepare an answer prior to your interview and practice that answer.
What Not to Say
Don’t Focus on Company Perks. Don’t just focus on the company’s benefits and perks. Maybe their health insurance is good, or they give lots of sick leave. Don’t talk about any of those things.
Don’t Talk About Salary. Don’t talk about salary unless the interviewer brings it up.
Don’t Get Personal. Don’t start any personal conversation with the interviewer.
Possible Follow-Up Questions
- Extensively research the company and its culture.
- Tie your job skills to the position you are interviewing for and the company’s goals.
- Show your professionalism.
- Practice and prepare an answer in advance.